And everyone is spouting their opinions. Most of the opinions I have heard and read are shock and disappointment at either the jury or the justice system. So here's my take on the Casey Anthony verdict.
First, I believe she is guilty. There was enough circumstantial evidence to convince me - the computer searches, chloroform in her trunk, failure to report the child missing among other questionable behavior, the lies she told the police... I could go on. I think, much like the OJ Simpson case years ago, it seems plain to many on the outside of the trial that she looks and acts guilty of this crime. However, instead of blaming the jury or the justice system in this case, I think the prosecution is more responsible for the outcome than anyone else. It was their burden to prove guilt and they weren't able to do it. Some of that was in their power and some of it wasn't. No one could do anything about the fact that cause of death couldn't be determined. I feel like that was a big obstacle for the prosecution. Additionally, there were no witnesses, no finger prints, no blood, no weapons, and nothing to identify Casey as the person who committed the crime.
However, as guilty as she looked and acted, if I were on a jury deciding a case in which a guilty verdict could result in a death sentence, I'm not sure I could have brought myself to find her guilty without any hard evidence pointing to her OR that she had committed murder. All of the circumstantial evidence, as much of it as there is, doesn't prove she is a killer. Computer searches don't prove you committed a crime. Duct tape on the remains certainly makes it seem that the death wasn't an accident, but doesn't indicate WHO put it there. Cause of death couldn't even be determined so as hard evidence is concerned it couldn't even be proven that this was a murder at all, even if it looked a lot like one.
It's a very sad case. This girl has essentially gotten away with murdering her own baby. She can't be tried for the crime again and since she is more than likely the murderer, the crime will probably go unsolved. It's easy to blame the jury for making a bad decision, or the justice system because justice will never be served in this case, but if you take emotion out of it that jury did the right thing. I'm glad that we are innocent until proven guilty and that when someone's life is on the line the jury truly based their decision on facts and evidence rather than emotions. There are a lot of people who believe strongly in the death penalty, and even more who simply want to feel like the killer was caught. But the death penalty is extremely serious and shouldn't be taken lightly. It's not acceptable to sentence someone to death because they "probably" committed a crime. That person is someone's child, parent, sibling, spouse, friend, etc. also, and that kind of conviction should absolutely be beyond the shadow of a doubt.
I do find it sickening that she is going to walk away from this, but take comfort in knowing that it's not over for her. One day she will have to answer for what she's done, and the sentencing on that judgment day will be far worse than anything any other judge or jury could have handed down.